Parashat Korach

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Parashat Korach

[edit] The Controversy

Korach the son of Yitzhar the Levi, began a rebellion, separating and dissociating himself and his family from the congregation, persisting in a dispute to contest the appointment of Aaron to the kehunah.[1] He banded with Dasan and Aviram, the sons of Eliav and On the son of Peles all[1] from the tribe of Reuben who were neighbors with the Levim from the family of Kohas as they all lived on the South side of camp. Together they joined Korach's rebellion as the saying goes "Woe to the wicked, and woe to his neighbor!"[1]

Korach was drawn into the rebellion out of his jealousy towards his cousin Elizaphan the son of Uzziel who had been appointed by Moshe as the Nasi over the family of Kahas by the order of Hashem. Kehus had four sons; Amram who was the first had his two sons raised to greatness, Moshe being the king and Aharon being the Kohen Gadol. Yitzhar was the second son and it was only fitting that his son Korach receive the position of Nassi. Instead this position was given to Elizaphan the son of Uzziel the youngest son of Kahas.[1]

Korach went ahead and attracted 250 heads of the Sanhedrin, mostly from his neighboring Tribe of Reuvain,[1] to his cause though his convincing words.[1] These were all chieftains of the congregation, representatives of the assembly and men of repute. These included Elizur ben Shdeuar, the Nasi of Shevet Reuvian.[1]

Together with the 250 leaders, Korach confronted Moshe and Aharon. They accused them of taking too much greatness[2] for themselves. However the entire Jewish congregation is holy since they all heard the commandments at Har Sinai from the Mouth of Hashem[2] and He is in their midst. Why then to they raise themselves above congregation of Hashem. If Moshe took the kingship for himself, he should not have selected his brother for the priesthood, since they are were not the only ones to hear the commandment of "I am Hashem your G-d" at Har Sinai, the entire congregation hear it as well.[2]

Korach dressed his followers in wool Talasim entirely dyed with blue Techales. They came and stood before Moshe and asked him if a Talis made entirely from Techales dyed wool, requires Tziztzis - fringes or is exempt. When Moshe replied that it was required they began mocking him how a Talis created of other colors is becomes permitted through one string of Techalis, yet a Tallis that is created entirely from Techalis, can not exempt itself.[1]

When Moshe heard this he fell upon his face since this was their fourth offense. Moshe had already pleaded to Hashem on their behalf after they sinned with the Golden Calf, by the episode of the Misonenim complainers and by the episode of the Meraglim spies. Now by the rebellion of Korach, his hands were weakened[3] for how could he intervene for them a forth time. This is comparable to the friend of the king who appeased him three times after his son sinned against him. However on the prince's fourth offence, the friend became disheartened and uncertain how he could trouble the king again and doubting if he would even be appeased[1]

[edit] Son of Levi

Korach's lineage is cited as being the son of Yitzhar, the son of Kohas, the son of Levi. It does not extend to mention Yackov the father of Levi since he prayed that his name not be mentioned in connection with their quarrel. However when the genealogy of Levim serving on the Temple platform is traced[4] Yackov's name is mentioned.[1]

[edit] References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Rashi Bamidbar 16:1
  2. ^ a b c Rashi Bamidbar 16:3
  3. ^ Rashi Bamidbar 16:4
  4. ^ Devri Hayamim 6:22, 23

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